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Apple is continuing its plan to purchase the entire San Jose area, as it has grabbed a 70,000 square foot manufacturing facility at 3725 N. First Street in North San Jose, reports the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The iPhone maker is reported to have paid $18.2 million for the building, which was formerly owned by semiconductor company Maxim Integrated Products.

Apple Makes $18.2m Purchase of Former Semiconductor Plant in North San Jose

No word on what plans Apple may have for the building, but the real estate listing for the property suggest it be used for research and development or manufacturing.

Experts said on Monday that the pickup probably does not signal a big push into production chip manufacturing for Apple, but does suggest the company needs more “heavy R&D” space as it continues to expand into new products and markets.

“It’s pretty small for a fab,” said Dean Freeman, research VP at Gartner, where he leads the Internet of Things Center of Excellence. “The only thing I can think that they would be doing is potentially be saying, ‘OK, we need to do some prototyping in some way or form.’ Or they want a clean-room space to do some tweaky development. This isn’t big enough to do anything (production-wise).”

When asked for a comment by the SVBJ, Apple replied with an emailed statement that read: “As we continue to grow, we’re planning to build R&D facilities and some additional office space in San Jose. The property isn’t far from the future home of our new campus and we’re looking forward to expanding our presence in the Bay Area.”

The real estate acquisition is just the latest in a recent series of building buys – most of which are in the North San Jose area – as Apple purchased a 296,000 square foot research and development building in May, it leased a 43-acre development site in August, and it leased a 202,000 square-foot office building in October.

(Via MacRumors)